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A True Hero


by olivia_2022

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"Please someone, anyone, help me!!!"

     High atop a castle in the heart of the Haunted woods, imprisoned by the evil Count von Roo, Princess Eleanor screamed in terror. She could only hope that some hero would take pity upon her pleas and defeat the malicious Count.

     "Please, he's going to kill me! Help!" screamed the Princess in terror.

     "Never! You shall be held here forever! Or, at least until my thirst for blood needs quenching again!" stated the nefarious Count von Roo.

     "Will no one come to my rescue?" pleaded the desperate Princess Eleanor.

     "Fear not, sweet maiden, for I shall not let any harm come unto you!"

     Princess Eleanor looked up, searching for the owner of that wondrous voice that claimed to be her savior.

     "No one shall take my dinner away from me," hollered Count von Roo.

     "Indeed, I shall do just that!"

     It was then that both Princess Eleanor and Count von Roo spied the shadowy figure that had daringly climbed up the side of the castle tower. It was a figure that both the Princess and Count recognized very well. The figure was known far and wide to be stronger than an army of Grarrls, braver than Jeran the Knight, wittier than the Brain Tree, and more handsome than any of Neopia's celebrities. It was...

     "Sir Chester!!!" the Princess cried out in joy, for she knew that she was safe in the hands of this amazing hero.

     "Yes, it is I! O foul Count von Roo, release this maiden from your captivity or you shall feel the wrath of my blade!" Sir Chester unsheathed his sword and prepared to smite the evil villain if he did not comply.

     "Oh no! It is Sir Chester! I flee, I hide, I cower!" And with that, the malevolent Count ran for his very life, for no one could stand up against the skill of Sir Chester.

     "Sir Chester, you have saved me! I am eternally indebted to you."

     "Not at all, dear Princess, for your captivity was of no fault of your own, and therefore I require no more gratitude than a simple thank you. Now... "

     "Chester, are you playing with my Fair Maiden and Musketeer Usuki dolls AGAIN?!"

     Chester, the Usuki painted Usul, was abruptly taken out of his game and back into the real world. His younger sister Catharine, a Meerca, stood at the door with her arms crossed.

     "... yes."

     "Chester, you know as well as I do that you can only play with my dolls when I let you! Elissa said so!"

     Elissa was the owner of Chester and Catharine. Cat crossed the room and hastily snatched her Usuki dolls, knocking over the tower of blocks that had served as the castle that "Princess Eleanor" was imprisoned upon.

     "Chester, you should know by now, Elissa painted you Usuki because you begged her to make you a musketeer, not because she wanted you to constantly pretend to be some sort of hero. Besides, it's embarrassing at school when you say funny words like 'Hark' and 'Whence'."

     "But, Cat, whence and hark are such nice words. 'Tis much better than the mutilation of the English language thou employest, better known as 'chat speak'."

     At that comment, Cat stormed out of the room.

     Chester looked down at his Count von Roo plushie, which was covered by the blocks of what used to be a makeshift castle. He didn't quite understand why his sister had to stunt his imagination but, of course, he never really understood much of what his sister did.

     "Chester, Cat, you're going to be late to school!"

     Upon hearing his owner calling him, Chester packed up his backpack, to leave for school. As he was putting his Garin pencil set and Jeran notebook into his backpack, he remembered that all real heroes need to be ready for the worst at all times, and put something in his backpack that was most definitely not allowed at his school. Chester zipped up his backpack, joined Cat in the hallway, and they both walked to school. They arrived at Carson Middle School just before the bell rang and each hurried off to their classes.

     Chester took his usual seat at the back of the class. He sat next to Bill, a green Grundo who very rarely did his work and spent the vast majority of class time seeing how far he could fly paper airplanes. Today was no different. Though the class had been instructed to study for the test that Friday on the fall of Eridi, Bill was experimenting with gum to see which types stuck under the bottom of the desks best. Chester wasn't doing much better; he spent the entire class time staring longingly at his beloved. She was a royal painted Acara named Jennifer, and he adored her. Everything about her captivated him. The way she brushed her hair, the way she straightened her headdress, how she chewed her gum; everything about her was perfect to Chester. Soon the angel spoke:

     "Um, Mr. Coran, like, WHY must we study something as ridiculous as THIS. The stuff has already happened, so what's it matter? It's, like, both useless AND boring!"

     Her two best friends, Lisa and Stacy, crossed their arms and nodded in stern agreement. Chester nodded halfheartedly. He figured that if Jenny said it, right or not, the argument was worth supporting.

     Mr. Coran sighed, by now too used to stuff like this. He was a very old man, who had been trampled on by his sassier students far too many times. He knew they wouldn't listen to him, so he tried to get the help of the class.

     "Will someone please explain to Ms. Jenny why studying ancient civilizations is important?"

     Mr. Coran looked around the classroom. Finally, a small cloud Kacheek named Adele sitting in a far corner of the classroom raised her hand. Everyone in the class knew what was coming. Adele was well known as a teacher's pet. She was shy and quiet, and read during most of class, yet she always had much to say when defending class material was involved.

     "Yes, Adele. Please explain to your classmates why studying the fall of Eridi is important."

     "Historical events, especially those as important as the fall of Eridi, are important to study so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past."

     "Thank you, Adele. Does that answer your question, Jenny?"

     Jenny rolled her eyes and got back to "studying". In actuality she had placed a "Neopian Fashion" magazine over her book.

     Chester had always admired Adele. She might be a nerd, but she was incredibly intelligent and always stood up for what she believed in. Soon after, the bell rang, letting the students free for a break.

     Few of Mr. Coran's students listened as he called to them from the classroom: "Don't forget to study for the test on Friday! I know it is only Monday, but this really is a difficult test and I want you ALL to get a good grade on it."

     Chester walked out of class, wondering if Eridi fell because its heroes were not brave or noble enough. It was then he heard a familiar voice:

     "Jerks! Like, WHAT do you think you're doing?!"

     Chester looked up to see that Krytus, a red Grarrl with less brains than a Mootix, had pushed Jenny onto the ground. His two friends and partners in crime, George, an electric Buzz who was the brains of the gang, and Ellius, a pink Moehog who was the most muscular, stood back, laughing at the flustered Acara.

     "OMG! Like, look at this mud! You have TOTALLY just stained my brand new skirt!"

     A thousand thoughts raced through Chester's head. Now was the time, now he could demonstrate his courage! Now, he could show off his skill! And finally, Jenny would recognize him as the hero he was! He reached into his backpack and pulled out his prize possession. Finally, it would come into use.

     "Fear not, sweet maid, for I shall protect thee from these foul demons!" Chester yelled, pointing his sword at the three "demons."

     "Hey, look! Knight boy has a wooden sword!" mocked George.

     Ellius joined in the jeering. "Yeah, knight boy, what are you going to do with that? Give us a splinter?"

     "Huh ha, yeah, splinter," laughed Krytus, to whom it took a couple of seconds for the joke to fully register mentally.

     Jenny cried out, the first to realize the gang's mistake, "Like, OMG!!! That's not wooden, it's, like, a real sword! EEEEEEEEEEEEK! Chester brought a weapon to school!"

     Chester looked to her, shocked. Why was she scared? He was trying to help her, not hurt her.

     At that, Chester was disarmed by the school hall monitor, and taken to the principal's office. He was given ten hours of detention time and suspended for three days for bringing a dangerous weapon to school.

 

     "A SWORD?! YOU BROUGHT A SWORD TO SCHOOL AND POINTED IT AT YOUR FELLOW CLASSMATES?!" Elissa screamed at Chester, half in anger and half in shock. "WHAT IN NEOPIA COULD HAVE POSSESSED YOU TO ARM YOURSELF WITH A DEADLY WEAPON AT SCHOOL!!!"

     Chester knew very well that when Elissa was this angry, anything he said could only make the situation worse, so he stayed silent.

     "WHY, dare I ask you, WHY DID YOU BRING IT TO SCHOOL IN THE FIRST PLACE AND WHY DID YOU BRANDISH IT AT ONE OF YOUR CLASSMATES?!"

     Shaking with fear of his owner's wrath, Chester tried to explain himself.

     "Sweet Elissa, I... I meant no harm to come of it. My intentions were pure; I brought my sword to school to protect, not to slay those with evil thriving within their hearts, whether they deserved it or otherwise."

     Elissa was obviously trying to calm herself down and failing. After a few deep breaths, she was able to collect her wits again.

     "There is no possible logical reason as to why you would bring a weapon to school. Go on, though. Why did you threaten someone else with it?"

     "Thou must understand, sweet Elissa, my heart was pure though my actions too hasty. Thou seest, Princess Jennifer, fairest of Carson Middle School, was in dire need for aid. I heard her cries, rushed to her assistance, and lo! I beheld her helpless upon the dank and dirty ground, with three knaves as the culprits. I unsheathed my trusty sword, many things not entirely clear to me happened, and alas! I am here, shamed and armed but with a noble spirit and honest heart."

     Elissa stared at her Usul with total and utter shock. Once again, it took her a while to calm herself down before she spoke.

     "You... you... idiot! Whether they were bullies or not, they weren't bothering you, therefore you shouldn't have bothered them. Also, they were unarmed! You had a potentially deadly weapon! I'm ashamed that my raising you hasn't given you half an ounce of common sense! Now, go to your room, think about what you've done, why it's wrong, and why you should NEVER do it again, and I'll give you your punishment in the morning. You may not agree with my decision, but quite frankly I've had more than enough of this hero business. Now go, and get a good night's rest, because we're going to have to get up early tomorrow morning to get... there before it gets crowded. Good bye!"

     Chester scurried off to his room. He was worried. Elissa seemed to think that whatever she planned to do would stop his hero worshipping, yet she had not taken away any of his Jeran action figures, his plastic sword, or his knight costume. This deeply troubled Chester, for whenever Elissa said something, she meant it, and whenever she left things vague, something was very wrong. Though Chester was still worried and confused, he finally dozed off.

 

     "Wake up already, Chester; we have to get going."

     Chester opened his eyes, half dazed. He first thought he was going to be late to school, but then he remembered the events of the prior day, and that he was suspended.

     "Come on, I don't have all day, you know."

     Chester recognized the voice as that of his owner. He glanced at the clock; it showed the time to be 7:00 in the morning. He groggily rolled out of bed.

     "Get dressed; I'll make your breakfast. But be quick about it. I want to be out of the house by 7:30."

     Elissa received an unenthusiastic groan from her Usul, and she then went into the kitchen to start making breakfast. Chester lazily got out of his pajamas, and into his usual musketeer ensemble. Chester got ready, and then Elissa and he left.

     Not quite sure where he was going, Chester followed his owner half-heartedly through Neopia Central. Though Elissa had brought him beyond the auction house and food market, the path seemed somewhat familiar, like he had been there quite a while ago. Suddenly, the road became all to clear to Chester as he noticed a rainbow stretching across the sky and ending in the center of a large pool.

     "The Rainbow Pool!" Chester screamed. He tried to dart away, but Elissa grabbed him.

     "Oh no, you don't. Though it is a waste of my hard earned Neopoints, it's worth it to paint you back to a normal color just so I can end this 'hero' business once and for all and regain some of the sanity I lost because you're constantly trying to 'save' people. Chester, you're always running around, mimicking Jeran or Garin, pretending to be a brave Neopian hero, and quite frankly you aren't. You are a student, not a knight, and Neopia currently doesn't need a sword-wielding maniac. I'm going to paint you back to a normal color whether you like it or not because hopefully it will bring back some normal behavior."

     Chester leaped, managing to escape his owner's grasp, but she just grabbed him by the tail. Kicking and screaming the whole way, Chester was dragged to the waters of the Rainbow Pool, where Elissa snatched a green paintbrush out of her back pocket. In an instant, that dreaded paintbrush touched his fur. Chester painfully watched his entire musketeer outfit dissolve into the pool, where it was replaced with a mere green collar. He was mortified. He tried to regain composure:

     "Thou hast destroyed me! Hark, for..."

     Chester then started sobbing, for he realized that his fancy accent had left his tongue, and that speaking in a formal tongue didn't sound even half as cool with out it.

     Elissa looked down with pity upon her poor, sobbing Usul, but she knew that now she might finally get some peace.

     "Come on, Chester, let's get home."

     She took her Usul's hand, and slowly walked home.

 

     "Wake up, Chester; you're going to be late for school!"

     Chester rolled out of bed, only half ready to face his second day back at school. It was Monday; the "sword incident" had happened a week ago, and Chester was gradually "de-heroing" himself. The Tuesday that he got painted green, he cried the entire day. But on the next day, he began accustoming himself to being a plain, green, Usul. So, that day, he replaced all of his Jeran and Garin school supplies with plainer ones. On Thursday, he put all of his action figures portraying various Neopian heroes and villains into a box and stuffed them into his closet. Friday, the day of the test, before he left for his first post-detention day back at school, he put all of his plastic armor into a bag and stuffed it in the back of a cabinet. Once Chester got to school, he ignored all of the snide comments and simply sat down in his seat, and took the test on the fall of Eridi. He had studied the previous day, and had learned that Eridi did not fall because its heroes were not brave enough, but because of numerous crop failures.

     The test was difficult, but Chester didn't think he did too poorly on it. After the test, Chester stared at Jennifer just as he'd done before. Unlike the last time he had gazed at her, Jenny's gum chewing, as opposed to being gracefully carried out by the jaws of a faerie, seemed rather repulsive. He noticed that little bits of gum-colored saliva would often fly from the corner of her mouth. It was incredibly disgusting. Chester also saw her clothing differently. Her dress and headpiece, which before seemed to be as bright and beautiful as a pink rose, now were a rather hideous shade of magenta and far too garish. Chester sighed, for the romanticized image that he had mentally formed of his beloved had worn away, and now she was just another annoying girl in the class. He turned his attention to Bill, who was now trying to see if he could blow cheese spray out of his ears. Finally, the bell rang and all students were free to do whatever they so pleased. It had been a long week for Chester, but he couldn't gather the energy to muster more than a slow trudge back to his home.

     So, now it was Monday. After Elissa hurried them along, Cat and Chester finally left for school. Cat went ahead of Chester; she wanted to make sure she got to her science class a little early so she could set up her lab station. As he walked to school alone, Chester threw his Musketeer hat, which had been lying peacefully on his desk while the rest of the Usuki ensemble had melted into the waters of the Rainbow Pool, into the trash dumpster near his owner's house. Without even a second thought towards his decision, Chester finished the walk to Carson Middle School.

     Chester arrived and waited for class to start. Mr. Coran had all of the tests on the fall of Eridi graded and sitting on top of his desk. Mr. Coran, though he was a tired old man who had little control over his class, liked to get back at his students in small ways. Every person in the class knew the test procedure by now. Mr. Coran gave tests on Fridays. He would have them all graded and the curve worked out by Monday, and when everyone was in their seats and quieted down, he would pull out his attendance sheet, and read out the names of the students in his class and what grade they got on the test.

     "Class, settle down; I want to get through the grades quickly," Mr. Coran said in his soft, tired voice.

     Everyone in the class instantly shut their pie holes, with the exception of Jenny, who was still telling Stacy and Lisa why she like the cyan nail polish better than the turquoise. Finally, even she silenced herself.

     Chester's name was first on the role list:

     "Chester: 86%."

     Chester breathed a sigh of relief; he hadn't done spectacularly on the test, but a B was still pretty good. He could now relax and listen to the rest of the grades. Jenny was flabbergasted and mortified: she had gotten a 52% on the test. As usual, she complained excessively:

     "But, like, Mr. Coran, you said that you would grade on a curve! That is NOT fair!"

     Mr. Coran took a deep breath and then responded:

     "I did grade on a curve; the person who got the highest score had their grade on the test raised to 100%, and everyone else had their grades increased by the same percentage. Adele originally got a 98%, the highest in the class, so I gave her a 100 and gave everyone else an extra two percent. So, technically, you only got a 50%."

     Jennifer continued to complain, but Chester tuned her out. He simply read his history book until class got out.

     After five more classes, school was finally let out. Chester walked out from his art class and back to his house. When he was halfway home, he heard a shrill noise.

     "AIEEK!"

     Chester looked up, and instinctively ran toward the noise. He found himself in Lakewood Park, where four of his classmates were. Krytus, George, and Ellius all stood around a figure crouched on the ground. When Chester noticed the light blue fur, he recognized the fourth figure: Adele.

     As usual, they were standing around their victim of the day laughing. Adele had been kicked, and pushed into the mud. She was looking up at her three abusers with large pathetic eyes,

     "Why... why are you hurting me?" Adele said between tears, without her usual shy dignity.

     George responded, "We're teaching you never to shoot your smart mouth off again in our presence."

     "All I did was answer a question in class!"

     "You always do. You're such a teacher's pet it makes me want to hurl!" Ellius said.

     Chester wasn't quite sure what to do. Elissa had taken his sword, leaving him unarmed. He didn't feel like a hero either, without the musketeer outfit that being a Usuki Usul gave him. Still, he had to act quickly. A large branch had broken off a nearby tree, and Chester scrambled to pick it up.

     "Don't hurt her!" he shouted, whapping Krytus with the branch.

     "Oh look, it's knight-boy again," sneered George

     "Except he doesn't have his costume anymore; isn't that right, knight-boy?" snickered Ellius.

     "You're just sore because your owner painted you pink!' shouted Chester. He then whapped Krytus, Ellius, and George multiple times with his branch-turned-weapon. Surprised by the resistance and not sure what to do, the three retreated.

     Snapped back into reality, Chester looked at Adele to see if she was all right. She looked pretty beat up.

     "Are you okay?" he asked.

     "Not... not really," Adele responded. "But I think I'll be fine. Thank you. Thank you so much. I haven't ever seen anyone stand up to those three idiots like that ever."

     "You're welcome," said Chester, helping Adele to her feet. "It isn't like it is your fault they beat you up. It seems like they are always looking for new victims." He paused for a moment, and then finally asked, "Want me to walk you home?"

     Adele blushed. "Yes. Thank you."

     Chester walked Adele home, talking the whole way. Too soon in Chester's opinion, the pair arrived at her house.

     "Thank you again. See you tomorrow!" Adele then smiled and walked inside the door, closing it slowly behind her.

     Chester walked home in a daze, not quite sure what had happened. As he walked past the dumpster by his house, he noticed a feather sticking out. He looked inside and recognized it as the hat he had discarded that morning. Chester smiled, picked up the hat, brushed it off, and put it back on. The hole in his heart was filled, and Chester walked back with a skip to his step and joy in his heart.

     The quest completed and Princess Eleanor safely escorted back to her home castle, Sir Chester strode back the pathway to his homeland merrily. Tomorrow would be another wonderful day. He looked up to the sky, and smiled to him, knowing that he wasn't stronger than an army of Grarrls, or wittier than the Brain Tree, but he did not care. He knew, deep within his heart, that he was a true hero, and that was all that really mattered.

The End

 
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